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After an unplanned and surprisingly long break from clubbing of eight weeks, we were drawn back into the scene by the prospect of Simon Patterson headlining Voodoo at Home Nightclub and the chance to celebrate my birthday by dancing with lots of friends to one of the best DJs around. Simon Patterson played a three hour set last July at the Oxford Art Factory, which I absolutely adored. It had been an unexpectedly fantastic night (see here) and I was very keen for more of the same.

The first thing that struck me when we arrived was the busy and expectant crowd. These days Voodoo seems to be regularly filling out the big main room at Home. This is such an important component of a great night, as it generates the vibe, energy and atmosphere that a good DJ can build, develop and exploit. Luckily our friends were located in the usual spot, or it might have taken some time to find them!

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Warming up for Simon Patterson were Krish Titan and Scotty G. They played a mix of old and new familiar trance tunes that set things up very nicely for the darker stuff that we all knew was coming later. Armin van Buuren feat. Emma Hewitt – Forever Is Ours, Tiësto – Traffic and Paul van Dyk – I Don’t Deserve You all had the crowd jumping around, punching the air and singing along.

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At 1am, Simon Patterson took over and we embarked on a journey from dark and uplifting through to psy-trance, and what a journey it was! Early on he dropped tunes such as Simon Patterson feat. Lucy Pullin – The One and Armin van Buuren – Ping Pong (Simon Patterson Remix). I’d first heard the latter at Stereosonic when Armin dropped the original mix early in his set and it seemed like one of those pretty awful novelty tunes that wear thin very quickly. But Simon Patterson has turned it into gold and I think his remix is going to outlive the original by some distance.

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There is a fashion these days for including excerpts from movies as spoken words accompanying trance tracks. And Patterson gave us a good selection of these: Neelix – Leave Me Alone (Simon Patterson Remix), “I’m sorry, did I break your concentration?”, John Askew – Mechanism, “Here’s Johnny!” and his own Brush Strokes, “We balled and we balled and we balled.” All great tunes – I was really enjoying the set and it was pretty obvious that everyone else was too.

As he moved deeper into the psy-trance tunes, I recognised fewer of the individual tracks, but that didn’t matter as I was getting more and more absorbed by the music, so I would probably have stopped note-taking anyway. He played till 4.30am, when he handed over to DeJan and Tonto and we realised that our last bus home would leave without us if we weren’t careful. So it was time to say goodbye to everyone and leave a still-busy dancefloor and head off.

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This was definitely my favourite Voodoo night so far. Every piece of the jigsaw that makes a great night was perfectly in place. The sound at Home was so much better than before – perhaps the large inflatable decorations hanging from the ceiling helped to improve the acoustics as well as contributing to the visual impact of the ever-improving production that the Voodoo team have brought us? Whatever the reason, for the first time I really felt that the sound system was very good and not just ok. The club was busy from start to finish, yet not so rammed that you had to fight your way to and from the bar. And with lots of friends there to celebrate my birthday with me, I was wondering why I’d left it so long since my last visit. Finally, the music that Simon Patterson played was superb, a true progression through the night and he’s now high up on my list of can’t-miss DJs.

Thanks to Luke Davids Photography for the use of his fantastic photos.

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